A non-profit organization founded in 1949 by the late Gilles Lefebvre, Jeunesses Musicales of Canada (JMC) has a dual mission: to promote the performance of classical music, especially for young audiences, and to help young professional instrumentalists, singers and composers to develop their careers at the national and international levels.
Thanks to the establishment of a strong network of volunteers to host its touring productions, JMC became one of the first organizations to present professional calibre concerts in outlying regions. During its first half-century of existence, JMC has brought tens of thousands concerts to schools and concert halls around the country.
The tours have provided valuable stage and performing experience for a number of young musicians who have since become widely known. They include Joseph Rouleau, Maureen Forrester, Marek Jablonski, the Orford String Quartet, Louis Quilico, Kenneth Gilbert, Lyne Fortin, Richard Raymond, James Ehnes, Yegor Dyachkov and Marie-Nicole Lemieux.
JMC provides support for artists not only by offering them professional engagements, but also by distributing various prizes and bursaries.
Today, each JMC season includes over 800 concerts and more than 650 workshops given by more than 120 artists in about 200 performance venues in Québec, the Maritimes and Ontario, reaching an estimated audience of 140,000 people, and among them 100,000 children.
Since the spring of 2000, JMC has operated its own performance venue in Montréal — at Jeunesses Musicales of Canada House — increasing the scope of its activities in Québec’s largest city.
JMC is affiliated with the Jeunesses Musicales International movement which is recognized by UNESCO for its actions to promote world peace.
All JMC activities receive support from the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada Foundation, the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, and various organizations at the municipal level.